#213 Michael Jordan Driven From Within



In "Driven from Within," Michael Jordan, alongside Mark Vansel, reveals the internal philosophy that propelled him to unparalleled success in basketball and beyond. Jordan's relentless determination, skill, work ethic, and competitive spirit transcended the court, influencing his ventures in fashion, business, and the staggering growth of Nike's Brand Jordan. His approach to life, characterized by an unwavering dedication to practice and a fearless desire to lead, is rooted in the power of collaboration, creativity, and passion. As the host reflects on Jordan's insights, the basketball legend's mindset emerges as a template for excellence, underscoring the importance of internal drive, the pursuit of being the best, and the transformative power of turning negatives into positives. Michael Jordan's story serves as a testament to the idea that success is not just about talent but also about the ability to listen, learn, and remain present in the moment.

Summary Notes

Michael Jordan's Success Philosophy

  • Michael Jordan attributes his phenomenal success to internal factors and influential people in his life.
  • His skill, work ethic, philosophy, personal style, competitiveness, and presence are integral to his success across various domains.
  • Michael's collaboration, creativity, passion, and leadership are emphasized as key to his success in both sports and business.
  • The Air Jordan brand's growth from $500 million to $3.6 billion in sales illustrates the power of not interrupting compounding.

"His relentless determination produced six NBA championships and some of the most spectacular performances in sports history."

This quote emphasizes the importance of determination in achieving high levels of success, as exemplified by Michael Jordan's sports career.

"Michael makes it clear that the basis for his phenomenal success came from the inside out, thanks in part to those who guided him along the way."

Michael Jordan believes that his success is rooted internally and acknowledges the guidance he received from others, reinforcing the importance of mentorship and self-motivation.

"This is a book about the power of collaboration and teamwork, the awe-inspiring energy generated when people combine their creativity and passion, and a fearless desire to lead."

The quote underlines the book's focus on the significance of collaboration, teamwork, creativity, passion, and leadership in achieving success.

Michael Jordan's Business and Brand Growth

  • Michael Jordan's business success was unprecedented and did not follow an existing model.
  • The growth of the Jordan brand is a testament to the value of long-term vision and consistency.
  • Jordan's approach to business mirrors his approach to basketball, focusing on hard work, practice, and team dynamics.
  • His dedication to practice and improvement is a recurring theme and a significant aspect of his success.

"No one could have predicted the outcome because I was never following someone's lead or operating off an existing model."

Jordan's unique path to success in business was unpredictable because it did not conform to any pre-existing template, highlighting the value of innovation and individuality.

"Great companies have a lot in common with great teams. Players who practice hard when no one is paying attention will play well when everyone is watching."

This quote draws a parallel between successful companies and sports teams, emphasizing the importance of practice and preparation.

Michael Jordan's Mindset and Work Ethic

  • Jordan's mindset is characterized by a desire to prove his abilities and earn his rewards.
  • He emphasizes leading by action, following instincts, and setting personal standards.
  • The desire to continuously improve and achieve is a core part of his philosophy.
  • Jordan's financial conservatism and focus on achievement over symbols of success are highlighted.

"I've always believed in leading with action, not words. And I learned very early to follow my instincts."

Jordan's leadership style is action-oriented, and he trusts his instincts, which underscores the importance of proactive behavior and intuition in leadership.

"Nothing of value comes without being earned."

This quote encapsulates Jordan's belief that success and valuable accomplishments must be the result of hard work and dedication.

The Role of Passion and Play in Success

  • Jordan views his work ethic in sports as a form of play rather than hard work.
  • He believes in finding work that feels like play to maintain motivation and drive.
  • The idea that one should enjoy their work and see it as a game is central to Jordan's success.

"To this day, I don't enjoy working. I enjoy playing and figuring out how to connect playing with business, to me, that's my niche."

Jordan's quote reveals his perspective on work as a form of play, which is crucial for maintaining enthusiasm and dedication.

Michael Jordan's Early Influences and Mentors

  • Coach Herring was a significant mentor who helped Jordan develop his skills and work ethic.
  • The motto "It's hard, but it's fair" from Coach Herring became a guiding principle for Jordan.
  • Jordan's drive was fueled by a desire for respect, admiration, and proving doubters wrong.

"Coach Herring was the first one to see in me what I saw in myself."

This quote highlights the impact of Coach Herring's belief in Jordan's potential, illustrating the power of mentorship and validation.

Setting and Achieving Progressive Goals

  • Jordan started with low expectations and progressively set higher goals as he achieved each one.
  • His approach built confidence and maintained a constant desire for improvement and excellence.

"My expectations were very low. I wanted to be the best player at the park in Wilmington."

By starting with modest goals, Jordan illustrates the importance of setting achievable targets and the motivation that comes from reaching them, which can lead to setting and achieving more ambitious goals.

Early Confidence and Progression

  • Michael Jordan gained confidence with each progression in his career.
  • He learned from Coach Dean Smith that excellence in basketball is about being good in every phase of the game.
  • Jordan's high school coach lied to get him into a five-star basketball camp, which was a pivotal moment for his self-awareness and skill recognition.
  • At the camp, Mr. Garfinkel was so impressed with Michael that he insisted he stay for an additional week, despite financial constraints faced by Jordan's family.

"With each progression I gain confidence." "Coach Dean Smith's system wasn't about excelling at one phase of the game. He was about excellence in every phase of the game, scoring, rebounding, passing, playing defense."

These quotes underline the importance of comprehensive skill development in sports and how early experiences and mentorship shaped Michael Jordan's confidence and approach to the game.

The Impact of Basketball Camp on Jordan's Career

  • The basketball camp experience was critical in helping Jordan realize his potential to compete with the best.
  • Michael's family had to make financial sacrifices for him to stay at the camp, which demonstrates the commitment and belief they had in his talent.
  • The camp significantly boosted Michael's confidence and work ethic, turning him into a "sponge" for improvement.

"Hey, I can play with the best people around. I'm as good as they can. I'm as good as they are. I was full of energy."

This quote reflects the moment Michael Jordan recognized his own talent relative to other top players, which was a turning point in his career, fostering his desire to continuously improve.

Jordan's Practice Ethic and Professionalism

  • Jordan's unmatched practice habits were evident from the start of his career with the Chicago Bulls.
  • His commitment to preparation and practice set him apart from his peers.
  • Jordan's maturity and focus on education, from his family and coaches, contributed to his professionalism.

"No one is going to prepare more than me. No one is going to practice more than me."

This quote emphasizes the dedication Michael Jordan had towards his craft, setting a standard for effort and preparation that he believed was essential for success.

Unwavering Dedication and Uncompromised Commitment

  • Jordan's success was built on a foundation of hard work that often went unseen by the public.
  • His commitment to the game was unwavering and uncompromised, regardless of the rewards and accolades he received.
  • Jordan highlights the importance of maintaining a constant commitment to excellence.

"The public praises people for what they practice in private."

The quote encapsulates the idea that the success visible to the public is a result of the hard work and dedication that happens behind the scenes.

Financial Decisions and Business Acumen

  • Jordan's conservative financial approach was advised by his mentors, and he adhered to it out of fear of ending up with nothing after his career ended.
  • The story of Joe Louis served as a cautionary tale for Jordan, influencing his financial decisions.
  • Jordan's focus on quality and excellence was a driving force in his life, not driven by money.

"Money never drove me. Sure, I wanted to be successful. I wanted the nicest things that success brings, but my passion was pure."

This quote reflects Michael Jordan's attitude towards money and success, emphasizing that his primary motivation was his love for the game rather than financial gain.

Leadership and Expectations

  • Jordan's leadership style was demanding, and he expected the same level of effort and commitment from his teammates that he demanded of himself.
  • He believed in maintaining a high level of effort regardless of the external circumstances, such as audience size or team performance.
  • Jordan's mindset management was key to his success, focusing on preparation and mental discipline.

"I knew what it took to come from where we were in 1984. I had put it on the line and I had earned the right to let my teammates know what I expected of them."

This quote demonstrates Michael Jordan's belief in his leadership and the standards he set for his team, based on his own experiences and effort.

Living in the Moment

  • Michael Jordan emphasizes living in the moment and not worrying about the future.
  • He believes that focusing on the present allows for happiness and reduces the compromise of present enjoyment.
  • Jordan applies this philosophy to various aspects of his life, from his NBA career to his role as an NBA owner and beyond.
  • The discipline to live in the moment is compared to the natural behavior of children, who are typically happy and recover quickly from upsets.

"I want to go through a day or a week not worrying about what I have to do on Wednesday or Thursday because I won't then enjoy Monday." "All is now all you can focus on is this moment."

These quotes highlight Jordan's approach to life, focusing on the present to fully appreciate and enjoy the current day without the stress of future obligations. This mindset is tied to his overall happiness and success.

Personal Expectations vs. External Expectations

  • Jordan, like Kobe Bryant, prioritizes personal expectations over external ones.
  • Both athletes maintain that their own standards are higher than any external pressures or expectations.
  • This mindset is crucial for driven individuals who aim to achieve their personal best without being swayed by others' opinions.

"The expectations will never be higher than my own."

This quote from Kobe Bryant encapsulates the idea that an individual's personal goals and standards should exceed any external expectations placed upon them, ensuring that their motivation and drive come from within rather than from outside pressures.

Goal Setting and Achievement

  • Jordan discusses the importance of knowing what you want and not being limited by others' views.
  • He encourages going against the grain and focusing on personal dreams and goals.
  • The process includes identifying goals, putting in the work, and then allowing the future to unfold without forcing outcomes.

"I never feared about my skills because I put in the work. Work ethic eliminates fear." "Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion."

These quotes reflect Jordan's belief in the power of hard work and determination in achieving goals and overcoming fears. The illusion of limits can be broken by effort and self-belief.

Extreme Mindset

  • Jordan's extreme mindset is characterized by his willingness to pay the price for success and his intolerance for excuses.
  • He exemplifies this with anecdotes from his playing days, emphasizing the importance of playing through pain and not showing weakness.
  • This mindset extends to his views on advertising and service, aligning with Henry Ford's philosophy of prioritizing customer service over personal comfort.

"If you want to win, you have to pay the price. It's not complicated."

This quote exemplifies Jordan's straightforward approach to success: the necessity of hard work and sacrifice to achieve one's goals.

Leadership and Team Standards

  • Jordan believes in leading by example, never taking days off, and setting a high standard for his team.
  • He emphasizes the importance of every team member meeting the established standard rather than lowering it for anyone.
  • His leadership philosophy is supported by anecdotes about his time with the Bulls and his mother's reflections on his dedication.

"A leader has to be willing to sacrifice to help everyone else get to where they need to go, where the team needs to go."

Jordan's quote underlines the role of a leader in setting the bar for performance and the collective effort required to achieve team success.

Precision and Attention to Detail

  • Jordan's approach to success includes focusing on the little things, which accumulate to significant achievements.
  • This attention to detail is likened to Peter Thiel's approach of ruthless efficiency and hyper-competence.
  • The meticulous nature of Jordan's and Thiel's methods is presented as a key aspect of their success.

"I focus on the little things. Little things add up to big things."

Jordan's quote reflects his belief in the cumulative effect of attention to detail, where small, consistent efforts lead to larger accomplishments.

Authenticity and Success

  • Jordan defines success by authenticity and being true to oneself rather than by material possessions or public image.
  • He criticizes the shortcut culture that equates success with superficial attributes.
  • Authenticity, according to Jordan, is about being true to who you are and not imitating others, which is essential for lasting success.

"Authenticity is about being true to who you are, even when everyone else wants you to be someone else."

This quote emphasizes the importance of authenticity in achieving true success, suggesting that genuine self-expression is more sustainable and fulfilling than conforming to societal expectations.

Passion and Commitment to the Jordan Brand

  • Michael Jordan expresses his strongest passion for the Jordan brand, which he can influence more than his NBA team.
  • The brand embodies his DNA and reflects his story of preparation and work ethic.
  • Jordan applies the same dedication he had for basketball to other endeavors, such as baseball, by engaging in rigorous training.

"Of all the things I'm involved in, the most important is the Jordan brand. Because it's my DNA. It is who I am."

This quote highlights the significance of the Jordan brand to Michael Jordan, emphasizing its deep personal connection and importance over his other business ventures.

Work Ethic and Overcoming Challenges

  • Jordan's work ethic is relentless, as seen in his baseball training where he practiced extensively despite physical pain.
  • He emphasizes the importance of turning negatives into positives, a lesson he attributes to his parents.
  • A famous Nike commercial illustrates his philosophy on failure and success.

"What Michael did to get himself ready to play baseball was grueling... His hands were so raw that the calluses would rip open every day."

This description of Jordan's training regimen demonstrates his incredible work ethic and determination, showing his willingness to endure physical pain to achieve his goals.

Mindset and Mental Strength

  • Jordan discusses the role of the mind in achieving goals, emphasizing the need to push past mental barriers.
  • He believes that a strong work ethic can eliminate fear and that preparation is key to success.
  • The concept of turning off the mind's negative messages is crucial to reach one's desired destination.

"The mind will play tricks on you... But you have to see past that, turn it all off if you're going to get where you want to be."

Jordan's insight into the mind's tendency to create self-doubt underscores the importance of mental strength and resilience in pursuing success.

Preparation and Confidence

  • Michael Jordan and Jeff Bezos share similar views on preparation and its impact on stress and fear.
  • Jordan asserts that thorough preparation leads to confidence and a lack of fear in critical moments.
  • The sum of one's efforts up to a point determines their readiness and potential for success.

"Work ethic eliminates fear... At that moment, you were the sum total of all the work you have put in."

This statement reinforces the idea that diligent preparation and hard work build the foundation for confidence and success in high-pressure situations.

Influence and Motivation

  • Jordan was driven by the desire to impress and entertain others, which fueled his daily motivation.
  • He speaks about the need to find internal motivation and the challenges of maintaining high performance levels.
  • The concept of "tricking" oneself to find motivation is discussed, highlighting the mental strategies Jordan employed to stay competitive.

"My driving force was to show people what I could do... I had to find a test within the test."

Jordan's motivation is rooted in his desire to demonstrate his capabilities, and he emphasizes the importance of continually finding new challenges to maintain peak performance.

Legacy and Impact of Relationships

  • Jordan reflects on the impact of his father's teachings and their lasting influence on his life.
  • The importance of personal relationships is considered in the context of life's broader journey.
  • He discusses the ability to process grief and use it as a force for positive change in life.

"I had him for 32 years... I think about him practically every day."

Jordan's reflection on his father's influence shows the profound and enduring impact of parental relationships on personal growth and mindset.

Teamwork and Listening

  • Jordan values the collaborative nature of business and sports, emphasizing the importance of teamwork.
  • He acknowledges the significance of listening to others and being open to criticism and new ideas.
  • The ability to share credit and work towards a common goal is seen as essential for long-term success.

"We are there to create something beautiful, something representative of what the brand is all about."

This quote encapsulates Jordan's team-oriented approach to business, where the collective effort is focused on creating something that embodies the brand's values.

Living in the Moment and Avoiding Assumptions

  • Jordan stresses the importance of focusing on the present moment and avoiding assumptions about the future.
  • He believes that being present allows for a clearer understanding of one's circumstances and reduces the risk of mistakes.
  • The concept of "All is now" encapsulates Jordan's philosophy of being fully engaged with the current moment.

"I'm so connected to this moment that I don't make assumptions about what might come next."

Jordan's emphasis on living in the moment reflects his belief that being fully present is crucial for making the most of one's current situation and avoiding the pitfalls of speculation.

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